India: Treaties that Gave Away the Store

As India grapples with the Vodafone and 2G fallout, the Bilateral Investment Treaties it signed a few years ago are coming back to haunt it. On April 17, British telecom giant Vodafone issued a notice of dispute to the Indian government, as a first step towards launching investment arbitration proceedings under the India-Netherlands Bilateral Investment […]

Sistema Threatens to Invoke Bilateral Investment Treaty

On 28th February, Russian conglomerate Sistema JSFC sent a formal notice to Republic of India threatening international arbitration proceedings under the Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) if the government fails to settle the dispute related to revocation of its 21 telecom licences in an amicable way within six months. “Sistema believes that the cancellation of SSTL’s […]

India-EU FTA: Where Is Europe’s Trade Agenda Headed?

The internal documents of the European Commission reveal the disgraceful attempts to push for higher levels of commitments in trade in industrial goods and agricultural products, services and investment liberalisation, geographical indications and government procurement under the proposed India-EU free trade agreement. Since 2007, India and EU have been negotiating a free trade pact, officially […]

For a Fair, Free Trade Pact with Europe

This article first appeared in The Hindu on February 9, 2012. Since 2007, India and the European Union have been negotiating a comprehensive free trade agreement — officially known as Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) — covering trade in goods and services besides rules pertaining to cross-border investments, competition policy, government procurement and state […]

Should India Establish a Sovereign Wealth Fund?

New Delhi will soon take a final call on the issue of setting up of a sovereign wealth fund (SWF). The idea of setting up an Indian SWF has been going around since 2007 when China established its major sovereign wealth fund, China Investment Corporation (CIC), with an initial capital fund of $200 billion. However, […]

Why We Need a Financial Transaction Tax: A Proposal for the G20

At the forthcoming G20 Summit (Cannes, 3-4 November 2011), the summit leaders are expected to address several policy issues concerning world economy and financial markets, many of which remained unresolved since the Toronto Summit in June 2010. Against the backdrop of a weak global economy and the ongoing eurozone sovereign debt crisis, G20 leaders will […]

Weak Position Limits Can’t Tackle Speculation in Commodities

After months of delay, the US commodity regulator – Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) – finally approved new rules to limit traders’ positions on 28 physical commodity futures (and swaps) contracts. On 18 October 2011, the CFTC’s decision was arrived through a 3-2 vote along party lines, with the commission’s three Democrats forming the majority […]

G20 Defers Decision on FTT Despite Global Support

The G20 finance ministers and central bankers have put off an immediate decision to weigh up a global financial transaction tax (FTT) proposal at the forthcoming G20 Summit (Cannes, 3-4 November 2011). The two-day Ministerial Meeting (14-15 October) in Paris took place against the backdrop of huge protests in US and Europe, galvanized by the […]

Protecting Investors’ Rights: An Assessment of EU’s New Mandate on International Investments

By Burghard Ilge and Kavaljit Singh On 12th September 2011, the General Affairs Council of the European Union (EU) officially approved a negotiating mandate for investment protection measures under the proposed free trade agreements with India, Singapore and Canada. The secretive manner in which the negotiating mandate was approved raises several legitimate questions about the […]